A Florida police chief was fired after an investigation found he engaged in discriminatory promotion practices and remarked “this wall is too white” as he viewed pictures of the department’s command staff.
Larry Scirotto – who took over the Fort Lauderdale police force in August – was fired by the city manager Thursday, according to a press release. The report followed multiple discrimination complaints alleging that 48-year-old Scirotto used an illegal race-based approach to making hiring and promotion decisions.
Scirotto, a former assistant boss in Pittsburgh, became the first openly gay boss to be hired in Fort Lauderdale last year. He is mixed breed.
A 12-page investigation into the prejudice complaints concluded that Scirotto had created a “divisive atmosphere” in the department, once pointing to a wall in the conference room with photos of the department’s senior staff and declaring “this wall is too white.” and “I’ll change that” according to CNN.
In another incident, the investigation found Scirotto said, “Which one is blacker?” when considering a promotion – an incident the former police chief denies.
The report quoted Scirotto, who headed the police department for just six months, as saying he intends to “consider diversity at every opportunity”.
“Overall, there is a very divisive atmosphere within the department based on the perception that the boss is intentionally using race, gender and sexual orientation as attributes necessary for promotions,” the report said. “While the goal of diversification is an important and laudable goal, it must be achieved in a legally permissible manner.”
On Saturday, Scirotto told CNN he carried 15 people from August to November, only six were ethnic or gender minorities, and said the report was “vague on the facts.”
in the an interview with Fox subsidiary 7NewsScirotto defended himself, insisting that the non-white candidates “deserved to be promoted”.
“These minority groups are now being treated like they don’t deserve it and they don’t, and never have,” he told the TV network.
“The promotions I’ve made affect the minority of candidates because they were exceptional candidates and excelled at all levels of the organization,” he reportedly added. “They deserved a promotion, and by the way, they happened to be a minority. It wasn’t because they were in a minority.”
Of the “which one is blacker” comment, Scirotto told the outlet he never said so.
But on Friday, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom said the report revealed the diversity promotion was being carried out illegally.
“We strive to be diverse in our organization. We strive to represent the community we serve. There are only certain lawful ways to allow for this diversity,” he said, according to 7News, “and in this case, the investigative report indicated that we did not fully follow the law when working on these diverse positions.”
The firing came after two Fort Lauderdale police officers claimed in October that they had been passed over for promotions based on race, sexual orientation and gender. according to the Sun Sentinel. In response, Lagerbloom reportedly halted the promotion to “address concerns about the police department’s recent promotions.”
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https://nypost.com/2022/03/06/fla-police-chief-larry-scirotto-fired-for-favoring-non-white-officers/ Florida Police Chief Larry Scirotto was fired for favoring non-white officers